Ontolog Forum

Ontology Summit 2021

The Ontology Summit is an annual series of events that involves the ontology community and communities related to each year's theme chosen for the summit. The Ontology Summit was started by Ontolog and NIST, and the program has been co-organized by Ontolog and NIST along with the co-sponsorship of other organizations that are supportive of the Summit goals and objectives.


Ontologies are a rich and versatile construct. They can be extracted, learned, modularized, interrelated, transformed, analyzed, and harmonized as well as developed in a formal process. This summit will explore the many kinds of ontologies and how they can be manipulated. The goal is to acquaint both current and potential users of ontologies with the possibilities for how ontologies could be used for solving problems.

Different types of ontologies have different uses and require different techniques. Some major types include: foundational, reference, domain, and application ontologies. The different types overlap. This track will survey the landscape of ontology types and propose guidelines on how to identify the type of an ontology and how to use it.

A definition is a formal statement of the meaning or significance of an entity, including words, phrases, classes and properties. Accordingly, definitions can serve as links between formal ontologies and informal ontologies as well as between different formal ontologies. Historical attempts to standardize terms included creating core metadata models and common conceptual models for combining data into a single representation. These however have largely failed to be adopted because of flawed conceptualizations, lack of community agreement, inadequate representation and thus amount to silos. Some progress has been made leveraging best practices including the use of ontological analysis and design. This track will survey the different notions and levels of formality of definitions and practical methods to harmonize a variety of semantic resources.

Ontologies can now be created using automated techniques such as NLP and ML. This track will survey the current techniques, including neuro-symbolic and commonsense approaches that combine logic and language processing. The goal is to propose guidelines on the most appropriate use of the techniques.

Many organizations, including government agencies, standards bodies and commercial firms, use ontologies and have developed tools for various ontological activities, such as creation, evolution, mapping and other forms of harmonization. This track will survey organizations that have been most active in ontology engineering.

Conference Call Information